Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth

Twin Atlantic

On a thoroughly blustery, rainy Sunday we arrive just in time to catch the first band on tonight’s bill. Simply named “Me” these Aussie Retro-Rockers take to the stage. Imagine if you will a cloned Small Faces with Keith Moon on drums and this is the sight before you. As for the music there’s a whole mash-up of styles which (to me) begin in the early 70’s! Take a lead from any of the following-Sparks, T Rex, Queen, right through to Pulp, Muse, JJ72 (delete or add where appropriate) and still you only get half the picture!

Wedgewoods Rooms: Me
Me 01

You see what sets these guys apart from the “competition” is their striving to be “totally” different. They open with “Hoo Ha” and already singer Luke is strutting and cavorting the small circumference he is afforded. Damian (guitar) is resplendent in his Adam Ant warrior waistcoat as he nonchalantly shoegazes beside him. Michael (bass) is nodding away in time while Spike (drums) is hitting away in a carefree manner. He’s even decided to dress as a “10yr old girl” for this the last show of the tour (Lukes words)! “Me” hold my gaze through the entirety of their set-they are so different from anything I have seen in a long while. They end on a high with “Like a Fox” to very good applause. I would recommend anyone to do like I did and part with 5 of your hard earned English pounds and purchase their mini LP titled “Another Story High”. Its a grower but after 5 listens you will be loving “Me” as I do now do

Wedgewoods Rooms: The Xcerts
The Xcerts 01

Next up are Scottish/South West Hardcore act “The Xcerts” and good friends of the headliners. Having listened to this band on myspace previously I’m expecting great things from these Hardcore Punkers. Sadly the over-riding feature of their set is the wall of sound in almost the entirety of their set. Their talent isn’t in question-far from it. I just feel from the outset they are trying too hard. The singer tries to banter and converse with the crowd, but even he looks like he’d rather be elsewhere. The drums are the standout component in the Xcerts sound but I’m afraid their Hardcore leanings are lost (on this reviewer)-on record they just sound so much cleaner,tighter and better. They too leave the stage to decent applause and I hope I just caught them on an off night.

Wedgewoods Rooms: TwinAtlantic
TwinAtlantic 0102

And so to the headliners. Twin Atlantic have “moved up the ladder” somewhat since I last saw them at the Joiners some 12 months earlier. The stage set is bigger and grander. Some great lights and effects are on show as we wait for them to the sound of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Everyone sings along and a mosh ensues! A sign of things to come methinks-I’m not wrong! Twin Atlantic stride on one by one. They open with “Yes, I Was Drunk”, the reaction is euphoric as we all sing along. More classic cuts from the “Free” LP follow. “Dreamember” is great and standout track “What is Light” raises the bar. This may be the last night of a 9 month tour yet the energy levels of the band are immense-they are going at it full throttle! Sam McTrusty’s vocals are clear while drummer Craig is in bullish mood as he hammers those skins. Barry divides his time equally between keys,cello and lead while Ross (bass) is doing what he does best. This band appear so much more confident live now. The set ends as it began on a high with “We Want Better Man” before they return for a couple of cello-lead acoustic songs in the shape of “John Wayne” and “Crashland” which is dedicated to ME. They end with the anthemic “Free” which Sam encourages us to join in with-we duly oblige before they leave us with a “ticker-tape” farewell. It’s Twin Atlantic’s time right now and I fully expect them to make the leap to bigger venues in the very near future-I’m just glad I caught them before their formative years as a band.


Set Lists
Hoo Ha
Westward Backwards
Working Life
Like a Fox

Twin Atlantic
Yes, I Was Drunk
Time For You To Stand Up
8 Days
Apocalyptic Renegade
Caribbean War Syndrome
What is Light?
Ghost of Eddie
Edit Me
Lost Ones
Human After All
Murder Sleeps Here
We Want A Better Man

John Wayne
Make a Beast of Myself

Band Links

Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

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